Monday 6 November 2017

Known Unknowns at Limerick City Gallery of Art, Featuring Nuala O'Sullivan, Damien Flood & Daniel Greaney. Curated by Simon Fennessy Corcoran. 3rd November, 2017 to 14th January, 2018

LCGA's Invitation to Known Unknowns
Limerick City Gallery of Art's collection is eighty years old in 2017, and 'Known Unknowns' is a part of the celebration of that fact.  The three artists in the Exhibition, were selected by open submission, and created new works which were inspired by, or are responses to, works in the gallery's collection. 

As a Limerick artist I am very familiar with the collection and a regular visitor to the gallery. The collection is very varied but I have always been drawn to the women represented there above anything else.  Below are images of some of my works in the show, which have been integrated into works from the permanent collection in places.  The work in this exhibition  was curated by Simon Fennessy Corcoran, LCGA's Shinnors Scholar. At the end, I have also included the catalogue notes regarding my work. 

The show runs until the 14th January so call in if your around!

My work on the rear wall, shown with some works from the permanent collection

My work in response to the LCGA's Collection with 'Miss Vera Palmer' by Sir Gerard Kelly at the centre.

Six small paintings and Madonna on exhibition

A selection of works which had an influence on my response, alongside one of my paintings 'V is for...' at top left.

A panoramic view of part of the gallery space.

As a Limerick based artist, Limerick City Gallery of Art and its collection are well known to me, so responding to the collection has given an opportunity to both revisit and reengage with the work.
In my practice I use old family and found imagery that relates to women’s lives and to the aesthetic and culture of the 1950’s. These subjects have strong visual resonances for me and perhaps that explains why I have always been drawn to the women in the collection at LCGA.  I regularly visit ‘Miss Vera Palmer’ by Sir Gerard Kelly when it’s on show, to view her wearing that green velvet dress and pearls as adornment, her eyes forming a cool gaze across the gallery space. In contrast Grace Henry’s  women at the ‘Top of the Hill’, are huddled and chatting with their backs to the cold, and Camille Souter’s ‘Washing by the Canal’ where washing blows in the wind and hints at the domestic lives of women at the time.
My painting response, as with the collection itself, is a somewhat eclectic mix linking both women of the past with women today. If 2017 has shown us anything it is that the continuing inequality and lack of respect, shown to women in particular, continues. The paradox of the ongoing ‘Madonna-whore complex’ seems unending. My work explores some of these paradoxes often using the adornment of women as a metaphor for these contradictions. My paintings show women who often appear in ‘a situation’ which is slightly uneasy and often isolating. Within the work thin layers of paint are used to allow some of the light from the canvas to remain, reminiscent of holding a negative or piece of old celluloid film to the light,  referencing their original photographic source. 

The exhibition was reviewed at RTE Arena - here's the link if you would like to listen


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